10 Life-Changing Lessons from Uriah

Who is Uriah in the Bible? What happened to him? Most importantly, what are the powerful lessons we can learn from his life? In this post, let us take a deeper look at the story of Uriah and the 10 lessons we should learn.

The 10 Life-Changing Lessons from the Life of Uriah
What are the lessons we can learn from the life of Uriah?

Have you heard about a biblical character named Uriah? You probably haven’t heard about him as more popular people eclipsed his story. Or maybe, you already know Uriah, but you just don’t have a deeper idea about him.

No worries because in this blog, I’ll introduce to you who Uriah is and the lessons we can learn from his life.

Table of content

  1. Who was Uriah in the Bible?
  2. What does the name Uriah mean?
  3. Where can we read the story of Uriah in the Bible?
  4. Summary of the story of Uriah
  5. Lesson no. 1: Temptation gets stronger when we are complacent
  6. Lesson no. 2: God plays no favoritism
  7. Lesson no. 3: Be diligent in your job
  8. Lesson no. 4: Be a man of honor
  9. Lesson no. 5: You can suffer for doing good
  10. Lesson no. 6: Adultery comes with deadly consequences
  11. Lesson no. 7: Sin can lead to more sins
  12. Lesson no. 8: You can’t hide a sin forever
  13. Lesson no. 9: Be careful of betrayal
  14. Lesson no. 10: The righteous will be remembered
  15. Learn the lessons from the life of Uriah

Who was Uriah in the Bible?

Uriah is a Hittite who became one of David’s greatest warriors. Although a gentile, he came to know the God of Israel, and eventually, he joined Israel and called it his home.

Uriah is the husband of Bathsheba, the woman with whom David committed adultery. Sadly, due to David’s sin, Uriah was put in a dangerous spot on the battlefield where he was killed.

What does the name Uriah mean?

The meaning of Uriah means the flame of Yahweh. It could also mean Yahweh is my light or flame. It is more likely that the man changed his gentile name to Uriah when he became a loyal soldier of David. Of course, it is also possible that he already had the name Uriah at birth.

Where can we read the story of Uriah in the Bible?

The story of Uriah was written in II Samuel 11:1-27. This is what we read:

1 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

6 Then David sent it to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered. 8 And David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah departed from the king’s house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 So when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Did you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?”

11 And Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.”

12 Then David said to Uriah, “Wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.” 16 So it was, while Joab besieged the city, that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 Then the men of the city came out and fought with Joab. And some of the people of the servants of David fell; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war, 19 and charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling the matters of the war to the king, 20 if it happens that the king’s wrath rises, and he says to you: ‘Why did you approach so near to the city when you fought? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman who cast a piece of a millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall?’—then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’ ”

22 So the messenger went, and came and told David all that Joab had sent by him. 23 And the messenger said to David, “Surely the men prevailed against us and came out to us in the field; then we drove them back as far as the entrance of the gate. 24 The archers shot from the wall at your servants; and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.”

25 Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab: ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and overthrow it.’ So encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

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Summary of the story of Uriah

At the time when the kings go out and make war, David decides to be left behind in his palace in Jerusalem. 

One evening, he walked on the roof of his house and saw Bathseba, Uriah’s wife, bathing. Moved by fleshly lust and desires, David commanded that Bathsheba should be brought in.

David slept with Bathsheba. She became pregnant. David needed to cover up his sin.

David tried to solve the problem by calling for Uriah from the battle. He thought that if he could cause Uriah to sleep with his wife, Bathseba, he could get away with the adultery.

However, Uriah didn’t go to his house as David had expected. David tried to trick Uriah again, but he didn’t sleep with Bathsheba.

As David’s last resort, he arranged for Uriah’s death on the battlefield. With the death of Uriah, David was now free to take Bathsheba as his wife and perfectly cover his sin.

That’s what David thought, but God saw everything. He sent Nathan the prophet and confronted David. As a consequence of David’s sin, his family would experience relationship turmoil and trouble.

With that said, let us now learn the life-changing lessons from Uriah.

Lesson no. 1: Temptation gets stronger when we are complacent

In the opening verse of II Samuel 11, we read:

1 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 11:1

The author of the book made it very clear that David should be out on the battlefield. Instead, he simply dispatched Joab and his army while remaining in Jerusalem.

As we will see, David’s decision led him to commit the biggest sin in his life. This shows us that temptation would often become stronger when we don’t do what we are supposed to do.

Most importantly, sin becomes stronger when we become too complacent and we let our guard down.

Lesson no. 2: God plays no favoritism

A lot of people see God as unfair. People think that he favors one ethnic group over another. That’s certainly not true.

God chose Israel as His people. He started working with Abraham, then with Isaac and Jacob until we saw the nation of Israel formed.

Some concluded that God was playing favorites here as He was only working with Israel. However, God is working in progression. We will see that even if you are not an Israelite, you are welcome to be part of God’s people.

And Uriah is proof of that.

Uriah isn’t an Israelite. He isn’t part of any of the tribes of Jacob. In fact, he was called Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:3, 6).

This shows us that even under the Old Covenant, anyone who wanted to be part of God’s people was accepted. The Hittites were among the enemies of Israel. Yet, we see here that Uriah the Hittite became a friend of Israel. He would later serve not just David but also the God of Israel.

Today, with the death of Yahshua (Jesus Christ), the door has been opened to the gentiles. Yes, salvation was of the Jews, but now, it was made available to all people who believe.

That’s not God playing favoritism.

That’s God loving everyone and giving everyone a chance to salvation. 

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Lesson no. 3: Be diligent in your job

Uriah was a soldier of David, but he wasn’t just any soldier. He rose in the ranks of David’s military. 

In 2 Samuel 23:39, we read that Uriah was among the mighty warriors of David. He might have done a lot of great things to be able to marry Bathsheba, a woman from a noble family. 

We read that Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam, who was the son of Ahitophel. These men held high positions in David’s kingdom.

Uriah wouldn’t be in his position if he wasn’t diligent in his job. He could have just been satisfied with just being an average soldier. After all, he was a gentile and he didn’t need to excel. Surely, being part of God’s army should be enough.

However, we see here how Uriah didn’t stop his lineage and tribal background to stop him from being a better soldier.

He worked hard to improve his skills. He courageously fought and won a lot of battles. He increased his knowledge and wisdom.

In short, Uriah was so good in his craft that even though he was a Hittite, David gave him a high-ranking position.

This teaches us an important lesson. We should all be industrious and diligent in every work we do. Most importantly, we must be diligent in God’s work, the best job we are called to do.

LEARN MORE: if you want to learn more about the importance of diligence in a Christian life, read “Why You Need To Be A Diligent Christian.”

Lesson no. 4: Be a man of honor

David was a man of honor. When he had the chance to kill King Saul, he let it pass and surrendered it to God. David defeated many of his enemies. He was honored by not just God but also his fellow men, from the lowest to the highest of them.

Yet, we see here how David stooped so low that he became one of the despicable men he would have hated himself many years ago!

On the other hand, we can see Uriah as the complete opposite of David. We see Uriah to be a man not just of honor, but of valor and virtue.

We have read how David called on Uriah under the pretense of wanting to know the situation on the battlefield.

David wanted to trick Uriah to sleep with his wife. However, what prevented David from completing his plan?

Yes, it was the HONOR of Uriah.

Notice what Uriah said to David when the king persuaded him to go home and lie with his wife in 2 Samuel 11:11:

“The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.”

2 Samuel 11:11

Wow, what a great man of honor and integrity!

These would have been the same words that David would have said many years ago. Yet, we are hearing this from Uriah, his loyal servant, and warrior.

Morally speaking, it wasn’t wrong for Uriah to go home and enjoy his wife’s companionship. However, Uriah can’t take the thought of enjoying himself while his comrades were risking their lives on the battlefield.

The conviction of Uriah should have pricked and convicted David’s heart. After all, David was the king and of all the people, he should be with his men where the fight was happening. Yet, he was in his palace comfortably sleeping and even stealing someone’s wife!

If there’s one thing that we should learn from Uriah, it should be that we must strive to live a life of honor, principle, and virtue.

These are rare qualities we see in our society today.

Lesson no. 5: You can suffer for doing good

The common understanding of people is that people suffer because of their own doing. People who suffer get what they deserve.

Simply put:

If you are suffering, then you have sinned or are sinning.

While it is true that the suffering of this world is a by-product of sin, it doesn’t automatically mean that we are suffering because of a sin that we have committed. We simply suffer because we are in this evil world ruled by Satan.

This is true in the case of Uriah.

Uriah was just doing what is just and honorable. He wasn’t sinning or disobeying the king. He wasn’t rebelling against God. He was loyal to David.

He did the right thing.

Yet, what do we read?

He died for it.

Can you imagine dying in the hands of the very king you loyally serve?

This should teach us a lesson that not all those who do good would be rewarded good. At least not in this lifetime

We know that we may suffer now, but we will surely reign in God’s kingdom. Our moment of pain today leads us to an eternity of glory.

Yes, Uriah might have been killed for doing what is right. However, God is just. He will surely compensate Uriah in the best way God knows how.

LEARN MORE: one of the greatest mysteries in this life is why we suffer. If you want to understand this vital topic, please read, “Top Three Reasons Why God Allows Suffering,”

Lesson no. 6: Adultery comes with deadly consequences

I have written an article entitled, “The 3 Most Important Reasons Why God Forbids Adultery.” In this blog, I wrote about why we must avoid adultery.

However, in the case of Uriah, we have seen the destructive effect of adultery. Because of adultery, Uriah was killed — not just Uriah, but also the other soldiers with him (2 Samuel 11:24).

This shows us that the sin of adultery does not just destroy the one who committed it, but also those people around the adulterer.

Aside from that, we read about God’s pronouncement through the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:11-14:

11 Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”

13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” 

2 Samuel 12:11-14

We see here that David would suffer conflicts within his family. His wives would be abused, which we will read later in the book of Samuel.

Aside from that, because of David’s adultery, he gave his enemies an opportunity to blaspheme God. Ultimately, David’s son to Bathsheba will die.

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Lesson no. 7: Sin can lead to more sins

If there’s one warning we must take from the story of David, Uriah, and Bathsheba, it should be that sin begets sin.

First of all, David became complacent and was intoxicated with the successes he experienced in the past years. He was at the height of his glory as a king.

David had a problem with women. He couldn’t contain his lust. If he was able to control it right there and then, he might have now acted upon his lust and committed adultery with Bathsheba.

When David realized that he impregnated Bathsheba, did he repent? Sadly, no. He tried to cover up his sin by doing some trickery and deceptive maneuvering.

When that failed, he arranged for Uriah’s death.

In the same manner, brethren, if we are not careful, the evil thoughts that we harbor in our minds would soon become words and then, actions. Sin can and will surely give birth to another sin. If we are not going to stop sin while it is small or if we are not close to God, our minds become a breeding ground of sin, ultimately leading to death.

Thus, don’t underestimate the importance of overcoming sin while it is still small. The sooner you overcome it, the better.

Lesson no. 8: You can’t hide a sin forever

We read:

12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.

2 Samuel 12:12

David tried his best to conceal his sin to the point that he got one of his loyal and trusted soldiers to get killed.

Once Uriah has died, David thinks that his problem is solved. There was nothing to worry about anymore. He successfully hid his sin!

Well, God knows what David has done.

The sin that David tried to hide is now widely known by everyone. Not only that but everyone who reads the Bible knows what David has done.

Yes, there might be sins that no one will ever know, but God knows. Don’t wait for the time when you get exposed. It is better not to sin at all than to sin and try to conceal it in the future.

Lesson no. 9: Be careful of betrayal

We read about how David and Joab betrayed Uriah. Betrayal can be so painful because it doesn’t come from your enemies. It comes from your beloved and trusted friends.

Uriah was loyal to his king and commander. He did whatever they wanted him to do. He followed their orders even when it seemed irrational.

Sadly, traitors will come. It is not a matter of if, but when. We read about Jesus Christ being betrayed by Judas. We also see how the other disciples left Him on the eve when Yahshua needed them the most.

We read in the Bible how betrayal will happen:

12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.

Mark 13:12

Thus, we must be careful. While it is good that we are trusting and we don’t think of evil against one another, it doesn’t mean that we don’t recognize the red flags when a person is becoming or potentially becoming a traitor.

As Yahshua advised:

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.

Matthew 10:16-17

Lesson no. 10: The righteous will be remembered

While the story of Uriah was tragic and saddening, it is quite interesting how he was immortalized in the Bible. Like King David, Uriah was remembered not as an antagonist, but as the protagonist. In the story, he was the man who was held esteemed while David was brought low.

If you read through the Bible, his name was greatly emphasized. Going through II Samuel 11, Bathsheba was repeatedly called the husband of Uriah. It was only later that Bathsheba was consistently called by her name.

In 1 Kings 15:5 we read: 

5 Because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

1 Kings 15:5

It wasn’t called the matter of Bathsheba, but the matter of Uriah.

Also, did you know that Uriah was mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ? 

We read:

6 and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.

Matthew 1:6

This tells us that even if your life has been tragic and difficult, God will not forget you. When you live a righteous life, you will not only be remembered by God, but also you will receive honor.

10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Hebrews 6:10

When we endure until the end, we can have the confidence that we will have our names written in the Book of Life:

5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Revelation 3:5

Learn the lessons from the life of Uriah

Yes, the life of Uriah was cut short. He didn’t live to his old age. However, he left a life worth studying and taught lessons worth remembering.

Uriah went down in history as a man of honor and integrity. His story will never be forgotten.

With this, I hope the 10 lessons I have shared in this blog will benefit you.

If you have comments or questions, feel free to leave a message in the comment section. Finally, if this blog has helped and inspired you, please share this with your friends and family.

If this blog has inspired you, I’m sure you’ll also love the book, “How to Live a Victorious Life.” This book breaks down the little-known and vital lessons behind what it really takes to become a faithful and zealous Christian!

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3 thoughts on “10 Life-Changing Lessons from Uriah

  1. Thank you for your insight. This has shed a new light “His Light” on issues in my own life. May God bless you.

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